Sewing book repairs

Resewing a Damaged Text Block – Part 1

The spine of the text block must be accessible to resew loose or separated signatures. If the endpapers are separated at one hinge, cut through it with scissors or a knife to gain access to the spine. Whenever possible, separate the back hinge so the repair will be less noticeable. If the hinges are sound, it is possible to cut through one of the pastedowns to gain access to the text block spine. Again, makes cuts at the back cover if possible so the repaired damage will be less noticeable.


  • Support the cover with books or boards.
  • Find the edge of the crash. It is usually either visible through the endpaper or can be felt as a ridge.
  • Lay a ruler just past the far edge of crash (farthest from the hinge) and cut through the endpaper.
  • Cut along the top and bottom of the endpaper from the cut line to the hinge (the distance will vary with the thickness of the crash).
  • Use a microspatula, folder or dull knife to carefully lift up the crash/endpaper and free the cover board.